Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pain on the Backside or Choose your Poison

yep,  the start is the easy part.

Once upon a time, I was an overweight programmer with a little used Mountain bike and a desire to make a change.  It started with lunchtime visits to the gym in the basement where I worked and eventually graduated from the excersize bike to the mountain bike and then one day I thought I would stop by the old bicycle shop on main street which was full of old bikes in the offhand chance they might have a road bike.  There was a 1980's era Centurian Lemans in it that was priced at $100 and I bought it.  My last 10 speed was one I found in a snowbank and this one was much better than that as it had index shifting, although it still had the downtube shifters.  Anyway, to cut to the chase,  that Centurian was the first bike I began to seriously roadbike on.

It was on that bike that I road the backside of Usery Pass for the first time.  It was a 12 speed and was not geared for hills but I made do.  I remember slaving up the backside of Usery pass and thinking that the hill went on forever as I slowly made my way up the grade that did not look as steep as it felt.  I remember getting to the turn around the nob and thinking I was at the top and then dealing with the disappointment of finding more hill behind it,  and then after another corner or two, the victory of cresting the hill and the chance to catch my breath.

Saturday I got to introduce my Son's to this great experience since the winds favored riding the loop clockwise.  I got to hear their frustration at the hill when they were not quite halfway up.  I got to push my older son in an attempt to catch up with my younger one who had decided in his anger at the hill to ride faster.  I got a passing roadie to ask him to wait for us and the boys got a break to get a drink and remuster the resolve.  This was just above the parking area for the area the mountain bike community calls 'NRA'.  At this point the hill is pretty much in the bag as it slowly gets less steep from there.  The boys for some reason did not believe this.  They only saw more hill and did not notice that they were not breathing as heavy, or riding faster.  Near the last corner my youngest just about stopped and wouldn't go on but he pressed on around the corner and got to taste the victory and enjoy the slow descent on the other side thanks to the headwind.

I'll take a headwind going down a hill anyday as opposed to on the flats.   The boys did just fine.  We managed to get an extra mile and a half in today.  I was hoping we would get more but we were extremely busy this Saturday.  Next Saturday we'll try and get around 25 miles in, and the Saturday after, I hope I can get them up to 30 and then we'll call it good and head off to El Tour the following Saturday.  I got the day off so I think  we're going to go down the day before and I'll show them Mt. Lemmon,  and then, perhaps we will actually make it to the Bike Expo/Registration before the last 20 minutes when everyone is putting everything away unlike just about every other year I have ridden it.

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